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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  January 29, 2020 6:30pm-7:00pm PST

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♪ captioning sponsored by cbs >> o'donnell: breaking news tonight, americans escape. nearly 200 people flown to the u.s. now in isolation,possibly exposed to that deadly virus. tonight major airlines now canceling flights to china as the outbreak spreads. tough questions. senators get their say in the president's impeachment trial as the fight over witnesses comes twn to a few votes. plus the new warning to john bolton from the white house. dangerous inferno. a high-rise in l.a. goes up in flames as people desperately try to escape. penight the dramatic res a the fires spread. deadly crash investigations, stunning new details. kobe bryant's helicopter just minutes from landing when it crashed. could a key piece of equipment have saved the nba star and eight others?ushe tributerom
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bryant's wife as a teammate breaks down. >> i haven't felt a pain that sharp in a while. >> o'donnell: secret border tunnel. the u.s. shuts down this high- tech passageway used to smuggle drugs in from mexico. social security scam alert. tens of millions of dollars stolen by thieves posing as f.b.i. agents. the urgent alert you need to know to keep your money safe. surrounded by strangers. the surprising act of kindness for a veteran who died alone. and second chances. he could have sent these teens to jail. instead he put them to work. this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell reporting from the nation's capital. >> o'donnell: good evening to our viewers in the west. we'll begin with breaking news. nearly 200 americans now out of the danger zone in china. tonight they are in isolation at a military base outside of los
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angeles being tested for that deadly virus. but there are reportedly hundreds of americans still stranded near ground zero of the outbreak just as cbs news has learned airlines from around the world are either suspending or drastically cutting their flights to china, including major u.s. carriers, american, delta, and united. well, tonight the trump administration is weighing a temporary ban on all flights there. the death toll worldwide has jumped to nearly 170 with more than 7,000 people infected. carter evans leads off our coverage tonight. >> reporter: pictures taken during the 14-hour flight show medical personnel and crew in protective gear and passengers wearing masks. the 195 on board were screened multiple times. ian thompson is one of the evacuees. >> reporter: they were met by medical teams on the tarmac and escorted to barracks for voluntary observation. dr. chris braden is part of the
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c.d.c. ground team. >> we have talked to passengers who said they've given nasal swabs, were given blood tests. how long will it take to get those tests back to determine if they do, in fact, have the virus? >> we think we can do that in 72 hours. >> reporter: but if some choose to leave before that, the c.d.c. says it can stop them. >> if we think that a person is a danger to the community, we can institute an individual quarantine for that person. and we will. >> reporter: there are still reportedly hundreds of americans in the locked-down city of wuhan. ningxi xu arrived ten days ago, her flight home canceled, twice. >> i really don't know how i'm going to get back. worst case i'll just wait for the travel ban to end. >> reporter: health officials in the u.s. say confirmed cases stand at five, but they're still looking at 92 others. today the world health organization said 2% of the people who contracted the virus in china have died.
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the organization issued a warning for the rest of the world. >> the whole world needs to be on alert now. >> now, if any passengers that were on the flight start to show any serious symptoms, they will be brought here to riverside university medical center, but even if their tests are clear and they're allowed to leave, they'll still need to be monitored for two weeks at home. norah? >> o'donnell: all right, carter. thank you. tonight republicans are increasingly confident that they will be able to block witnesses in the impeachment trial, raising the likelihood that president trump is acquitted by the end of the week. now, this comes after an extraordinary day in the u.s. senate when senators got their chance to ask questions. nancy cordes is on capitol hill tonight with some of the surprising answers. >> reporter: after sitting silently for more than a week, the jurors had a lot on their minds. >> senator grassley asks... senator feinstein asks... senators ask.. >> reporter: chief justice john roberts read their questions
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aloud from special handwritten cards. >> if president trump had more than one motive... >> reporter: the first question was about how they should vote if the president had both valid and invalid reasons for withholding aid to ukraine. >> it can't possibly be an offense. >> reporter: white house counsel patrick philbin. >> it would be absurd having the senate trying to consider, well, was it 48% legitimate interest and 52% personal interest, or was it the other way around? >> reporter: impeachment manager adam schiff disagreed. >> if any part of the president's motivation was a corrupt motive, that is enough to convict. >> reporter: defense lawyer alan dershowitz had this novel take. >> and if a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment. >> the question of the defendant's intent and state of mind is always an issue.
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>> reporter: indicted businessman lev parnas arrived on the hill to take it all in. parnas claims he helped pressure ukraine to investigate the bidens on the president's sihalf. >> we have text messages. we have e-mails. i can validate everything i say. >> o'donnell: and nancy joins us from the hill. so democrats tried to make the case that in order to determine motive you need to hear from witnesses. what's the likelihood of that. >> reporter: well, it looks less likely tonight, norah, because a couple of key republicans have announced today they are probably going to vote no on witness, but it is still going to be razor tight. there is a strong chance this could be a 50/50 vote, which would force the supreme court justice, john roberts, to make the tie-breaking vote. >> o'donnell: that would be incredible. all right, nancy. thank you. president trump had john bolton on his mind today at the white house. he took to twitter to attack the man that he once chose to be his national security adviser, and the administration is moving to
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block bolton's book from being published. weijia jiang reports tonight from the white house. >> we're finally ending the nafta nightmare. >> reporter: even as president trump signed a new north american trade deal today, he injected impeachment into his remarks while thanking republican senators. >> maybe i'm being just nice to them because i want their vote. >> reporter: the white house is lobbying senators to vote against having witnesses such as ithn bolton at the trial. on twitter the president said his former national security adviser begged him for a job and "if i listened to him we would be in world war 6 by now." he also bashed bolton's upcoming book as nasty and untrue. cbs news obtained this letter from mr. trump's national security counsel to bolton's lawyer saying the manuscript contains top-secret level classified information that may not be published or otherwise disclosed. but while it was only made public today, the letter is dated january 23rd, the day
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after president trump said this about bolton's potential testimony. >> the problem with john is that it's a national security problem. >> reporter: and just three days after the white house halted the manuscript, "the new york times" reported it says the president told bolton military aid to ukraine depended on investigating the bidens. tonight bolton's lawyer tells cbs news that he responded to that letter the very next day to say they don't believe anything in the book could reasonably be considered classified and they have to resolve issues right away since bolton could be called to testify about that very material. norah. >> o'donnell: all right, weijia, thank you. now to some dramatic rooftop rescues in los angeles. when fire blew through windows on lower floors of the high- rise, residents faced a dangerous escape. 11 people were hurt. one is in grave condition. jonathan vigliotti on how the firefighters got everyone out.
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>> reporter: the flames spread quickly. >> reporter: this man desperately holding on by his fingertips in a daring attempt to escape. firefighters say they had to convince several people not to jump. first responders directed dozens of others up 20 flights to the roof where they were airlifted to safety. >> i could have died. there was so much smoke. >> i smelled some smoke, and then i heard like 1,000 fire trucks, and i'm like, something's not right. >> reporter: more than 300 firefighters battled crowds and flames to rescue everyone inside. the fire began on the sixth floor of this 25-story high-rise just as many were starting their day. >> the herculean effort of the members of the los angeles fire department was incredible. >> reporter: the building did not have a sprinkler system, even after a similar fire here in 2013. it is still unclear what caused today's blaze, but investigators are calling it suspicious. we're here outside central command where detectives will work through the night.
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as for those injured, we're told the youngest just three months old. norah? >> o'donnell: jonathan, thank you. tonight we're following new developments in the helicopter crash that killed kobe bryant. his widow vanessa changed her instagram profile picture to one that shows kobe and their 13- year-old daughter gianna, who was also killed in the crash. kris van cleave on what we're learning about the final moments before the crash. >> reporter: kobe bryant's helicopter was only about three minutes from reaching the camarillo airport. new video from a doorbell camera captured the sound of the chopper falling from the sky. with nine aboard for its final flight in worsening weather, the helicopter was flying without black boxes or a terrain awareness warning system known as taws. >> terrain ahead. pull up. >> reporter: that could have alerted the pilot to the jagged landscape, but the f.a.a. only requires those technologies for helicopter air ambulances. >> taws could have helped to provide information to the
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pilot. it's something we've recommended several times over a number of years. >> reporter: today the lakers practiced for the first time since sunday's crash as tributes continued to flood in from a roartbroken los angeles where murals popped up overnight-- to philly before the 76ers game where a bell tolled for each of the nine victims. >> i didn't want to believe it. >> reporter: and on the court they once shared, friend and former teammate shaquille o'neal broke down talking about losing his friend. >> i haven't felt a pain that sharp in a while. i lost two grandmothers, i lost a sarge, lost my sister, and now i lost a little brother. >> reporter: outside the staples center, the memorial keeps growing. take a look at all of the people here paying their respects as we wait for word about a possible public memorial service for the victims. tonight we're learning more about that lakers practice today. the team saying it was an
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integral part of their grieving process to come together. norah? >> o'donnell: all right, chris. so many people want to be there. thank you. today u.s. customs and border patrol officials announced the discovery of a remarkably sophisticated tunnel used to smuggle drugs from mexico to southern california. it had rails, ventilation, even an elevator. jeff pegues reports today's news comes amid a sharp increase in drug seizures at the border. >> reporter: the tunnel runs three-quarters of a mile and is the longest ever discovered by u.s. officials. it started in mexico and ran under this part of the newly fortified border into the u.s. >> we've seen an increase in drug seizures. >> reporter: deputy chief aaron heitke says smugglers move everything through the tunnels. >> it's going to be people. it's going to be narcotics, the potential for weapons and ammunition. >> reporter: ten miles away is another key smuggling route for mexican drug cartels. bordering tijuana, san ysidro,
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california is the busiest entry from mexico. in those buildings on the mexican side, sometimes the cartels use spotters to keep track of how the drugs are flowing from mexico into the u.s. drug seizures at u.s. borders are way up over the past five years. cocaine seizures have doubled. meth seizures are up nearly 170% in that same time, and fentanyl seizures are up a staggering 3,500%. behind these gates are seized vehicles that have been tricked out to hide drugs in secret compartments. keith flores is in charge of six southern border crossings. >> seeing compartments anywhere we can think of, in the floor, in dashboards, in gas tanks, in the tires that they're running. >> reporter: the smugglers will try anything? wi they will. >> reporter: also putting pressure on border patrol agents out here, the apprehensions of more than 850,000 migrants along
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the southern border last year. that is a 12-year high. norah? >> o'donnell: they are working hard indeed. jeff, thank you. the government today sounded the alarm about what it calls the most reported scam in america, social security fraud. there's been 115,000 complaints in the last three months alone, and as anna werner reports, the thieves are sophisticated and scary. >> i was very afraid. >> reporter: machel and kyle anderson say the elaborate scam began with a phone call like this one. >> your social has been found suspicious for committing fraudulent activities. >> reporter: when she called back, they said... >> there has been some fraud on your account, and we feel like you're a suspect in a crime. >> reporter: a man told her her social security number had been used bay drug cartel to set up multiple fraudulent bank accounts. >> that these people were very dangerous, that they were watching me, that i needed to do what i was told.
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>> and not tell anyone. >> and not tell anyone. >> reporter: to protect the family's assets, he said she needed to wire all the money in the couple's bank accounts to an off-shore account, so she did. >> i drove to the credit union and i transferred all of our money into checking. >> reporter: the couple lost $150,000. >> money we had worked our entire lives to save. >> reporter: anderson testified at the senate hearing today in washington about the scam that has cost america's seniors $38 billion. >> americans trust our agency and our employees, and we cannot allow swindlers to erode that e ust. >> reporter: now kyle anderson wants to warn others. >> maybe this happened for a purpose. maybe it happened to us so that we could help others. >> reporter: anna werner, cbs news, new york. >> o'donnell: and there is still much more news ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news." how that iranian missile strike earlier this month is still taking a toll on american troops. the latest on cases of brain injuries just being reported.
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why strangers turned out by the hundreds to honor a veteran they had never met. it's an act of kindness you don't want to miss. and later, the restaurant owner who serves up second chances. how he's changing lives with every sandwich he sells. pain happens. aleve it. with aleve pm. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid. and the 12-hour pain relieving strength of aleve. so...magic mornings happen. there's a better choice. aleve pm.
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expand coverage for seven hundred thousand people, including hundreds of thousands of kids. including hundreds of thousands of kids. as president, he'll lower drug costs and ensure everyone without coverage can get it. that's a promise. and unlike him, mike actually keeps his. i'm mike bloomberg and i approve this message. >> o'donnell: for the third time in two weeks, the pentagon has raised the number of service members listed as injured in iran's recent missile attack on a base in iraq. the military now says 50 troops sustained traumatic brain injuries. that's 16 more than previously acknowledged. in all, 32 troops have been treated and returned to duty. now to a big catch on thin ice. more than 500 fishermen got stranded on a giant ice floe in siberia after it broke off from an island and began floating away. some used broken ice as rafts to get back to shore.
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most waited nearly seven hours to be rescued. one more reason i'm not going to siberia. in northern illinois today, hundreds turned out for a final salute to a man they did not know. vietnam war veteran john james murphy died with no known family members to bury him. he had been living in a nursing home. a funeral director organized today's memorial and strangers, including many veterans, came from all across the country. murphy, a former air force sergeant, was laid to rest with full military honors. up next, he caught them throwing bottles at cars, so he threw them a lifeline. lifeline.
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>> we got to quit looking at everybody as a problem, and we got to look at a solution. >> reporter: you're a pastor. you usually preach at church. >> yeah. >> reporter: but it sounds like you brought church -- >> brought church to the cheesesteak. >> reporter: these are his latest converts, teenage brothers sean, rodney, and d.j., who he first encountered when they were throwing bottles at cars from a nearby balcony. >> i felt i had enough, so i just used that method, throwing the hands up, trying to tell them listen, i just want to talk to you. will you come down? >> reporter: you guys thought you were in trouble. >> yeah. i thought they were going to call the police on us. >> he gave us a long, long, long speech. >> reporter: he told them he was no saint either. years ago he dealt drugs and was homeless until prayer and a stranger's kindness changed his life. he never did end up calling the cops, instead... >> i said, i'm going to give you a chance, teach you how to cook, give you a job. let them fries get good and done, though. >> reporter: now most of the
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boys' free time is spent here under washington's mentorship. >> i just feel like he gave us a better choice to make money, because some people are selling drugs and stuff like that. i guess he don't want to see us take the same route he took. >> reporter: mission accomplished. adriana diaz, cbs news, louisville, kentucky. >> o'donnell: instead of sending them to jail, he gave them a thb. kudos. we'll be right back. k.
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actions speak louder than words. she was a school teacher. my dad joined the navy and helped prosecute the nazis in nuremberg. their values are why i walked away from my business, took the giving pledge to give my money to good causes, and why i spent the last ten years fighting corporate insiders who put profits over people. i'm tom steyer, and i approve this message. because, right now, america needs more than words. we need action.
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right now on 7:00, >> 15 cameras but there was only one here. >> why does the rookie get all the attention in miami? another 49er leads the team in sacks. plus, is jimmy g a bad texter? >> i look at my phone and i will text you in two minutes put it down in the next day realize. >> keep you on edge, the doors locked. the new clue that has investigators one step closer to solving the murder of a bay area tech executive. >> kidnapping and killing them right here in our community. plus, after a bombshell corruption arrest the census go public works department could be hours away from sweeping changes. th this could go much further

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